Nov. 13, 2006
By Joshua Mayers
Everyone wondered if the Husky freshmen would be ready.
With Jon Brockman playing the way he did Sunday, the youngsters can take their time.
Brockman finished with a career-high 25 points, on 11-for-16 shooting, and also tied a personal-best with 12 rebounds.
"I'm from Fresno, so I know what Pondexter looks like. I've seen him enough, and I think he is going to be in the NBA one day also."
Pepperdine head coach Vance Walberg
"Coach told me I have to put it on my shoulders," Brockman said. "Losing the seniors that we lost, it can be a big hit to a team; but we have the talent, we have the personnel, we have everything a good team needs to be successful."
Coach Lorenzo Romar even commended the sophomore's defensive effort, having to guard the perimeter multiple times in the game. Diving to the floor for loose balls is now becoming a near trademark for the blue-collar power forward.
The Waves clearly wanted nothing to do with the bruiser.
"He weighs more than two of our guys together," said Pepperdine coach Vance Walberg.
Keep in mind that Brockman played only 23 minutes in the game. What results can we expect from a full game's play?
Don't get me wrong, the freshmen looked good. The four rookies combined for 45 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists.
In addition, the first five minutes of the game belonged solely to Quincy Pondexter.
The energetic kid from Fresno, Calif., exploded out of the gates diving to the floor, fighting for rebounds and sparking a 16-2 Husky run to begin the game.
"I just came out and played as hard as I could," Pondexter said.
After a steal turned jumper induced a Pepperdine timeout, the 6-foot-6-inch wing left the floor to an enormous roar from the Dawg Pack.
"I'm from Fresno, so I know what Pondexter looks like," Walberg said. "I've seen him enough, and I think he is going to be in the NBA one day also."
With five minutes left to play, fellow freshman Adrian Oliver's lob floated to Pondexter, who had to avoid hitting his head on the rim as he threw it down.
The highlight goes to Pondexter; the game, however, belonged to Brockman.
With help from Washington's new 7-foot center, Spencer Hawes, and his unique passing ability, Brockman admitted "All I had to do was finish."
Hawes finished with a game-high seven assists, most to his teammate in the frontcourt. The duo exhibited a frighteningly efficient display of post-to-post passing that this program has never seen.
"We've built that chemistry from playing together for so long," Hawes said. "Now we're back at it and I think the chemistry showed out there."
So yes, the team is inexperienced. But Brockman isn't.
The former McDonald's All-American played in every single game last season as a true freshman, and he earned selection to the All-Freshman team in the Pac-10.
He was voted as team captain in just his sophomore year, and a year of practice has refined his game and a year in the weight room has defined his strength.
Jon Brockman is ready to be the leader of this team.